Online Exhibits@Yale

Lunatic's Ball. Somerset County Asylum.

Lunatic's Ball

Lunatic's Ball. Somerset County Asylum. c.1850, Katharine Drake British 19th century, Published by Backhouse Wells & Ackermann & Co. No.36, Strand", Bequest of Clements C. Fry 1955

This 30 year old man presents with adult-onset tics and a history of Tourette’s Syndrome diagnosed at age 10. While his tics diminished after age 17 , he has recently noticed a resurgence of tics including head snapping and vocal gasping that has affected his social life and sexual activity. Mr. W denies recent trauma, alcohol, smoking, or illicit drug use.

This print captures a scene in Somerset Court Asylum in the UK. Notably, many of the asylum’s patients were institutionalized because of the heavy metal poisoning from runoff from a local lead mining operation.

Lunatic's Ball. Somerset County Asylum.